With winter behind us, the community is anxious to hear
about the many events, concerts and festivals being planned for the summer
season. In addition to the five large
city festivals (Valley Fox Trot, 4th of July Parade, Art and Soul on
the Fox, International Fest and Nightmare on Chicago Street), the city also
hosts Concerts in the Park at Wing Park and Movies in the Park at Festival Park
throughout the summer. Our staff is busy again this year, planning a
spectacular lineup of events that will offer something for all ages.
In addition to city events, many other special events are
hosted by local groups and businesses throughout the summer months. Some groups
host walks or races along the bike path, or novelty events such as the annual
Historic Housewalk or Cemetery Walk. Others host more traditional festivals
with food, beer and music as fundraisers for local charities.
This year, we are especially excited to have the Grand
Victoria Casino expand on their concert series that they began in 2013. After a
very successful season last year, they plan to bring even more concerts to
Festival Park, providing a wide variety of styles of music and entertainment,
from Symphony to Country and Western. We are thrilled to see Festival Park
being used for the purpose for which it was built. The City of Elgin is
partnering with the GVC on the 4th of July to bring fireworks back
to the riverfront immediately following their concert that night. We hope that our residents come together along
the riverfront to celebrate with us that evening.
Above and beyond just providing a “good time”, special
events are an integral part of economic development for Elgin and for any
community. Special events attract our own residents and people from other
communities to Elgin, where they spend their money in our restaurants and
businesses. Events also give us the opportunity to showcase our community in a
new light to people who perhaps have never been here or have old perceptions of
downtown Elgin. Either way, physically bringing people to our community helps
create a positive image and a “buzz” about Elgin.
Elgin can truly be credited as the “City in the Suburbs”
when it comes to events and culture. The Artspace project, Hemmens Cultural Center,
and the Elgin Art Showcase as well as groups such as ESO, EYSO and Janus
Theater are some prime examples of our regional leadership in the arts. Through
the arts, Elgin is attracting new arts-based businesses and younger residents,
helping to revitalize our downtown area.
I hope you will all come out to our events this summer and
enjoy the vast array of activities right here in your own community!